my heart was just half full
I’d never known the fruit which fed the soul
but now I see what may put to rest my longing
for I have seen, the face of love
the grace of God, the face of love ~Jewel
“Don’t be afraid to ask for your wildest prayers.” Elizabeth-one of the yoga instructors at my studio- made this statement during a class some months ago. It may even have been a year ago. No matter though. It hit me hard in a good way. Many of us who struggle for long periods of time forget to ask for things beyond just getting through the day,the month or even the year. Of course, this kind of mindfulness matters. At times of intense adversity, it really is important to stay focused on the task at hand. Conversely, one runs the risk of not thinking of the future and the good things that inevitably will come.
A wild prayer can be a life prayer. At the time that I heard it from Elizabeth, I had not realized on a conscious level that I had been already begun the process of appealing for my wildest dreams. Five years ago, I felt unworthy of love and commitment. It was a perfectly normal feeling at the time-having been left after 18 years of marriage for “greener pastures”. For Christmas that year, my oldest son had given me a beautiful purse. Inside were three music cds of artists he knew I loved to listen to. I would play the music endlessly as its lyrics and tunes resonated with my emotions at the time. Some of the songs spoke of love and commitment and I remember thinking: “Someday a better man is going to love me as I deserved to be loved.”
That thought went out into the universe as I went about my daily business of dismantling the marriage and simultaneously trying to hold myself and my sons together. Fast forward to eight months later as my sons and I are enjoying a week’s respite with my folks on the west coast of Florida. My parents flew the three of us down as we had just concluded a small celebration. In exchange for them being unable to attend, we got a treat of fun and sun with family and friends.
At the time, I had no idea that the trip would be the vehicle that would ultimately change my life for the better. While my sons and I were enjoying a post race party and swim, I noticed a man wearing my local city’s baseball cap and shirt. I asked where he was from and he told me that he grew up some fifty miles from where I lived. He climbed into the pool next to me and the conversation didn’t end until two and half hours later! That evening, my mother asked me what I thought of him. I said that he was very nice-he certainly seemed to be a dedicated father and a spiritually grounded man. She, of course, went further in singing his praises (my parents had known him for a year and he was a member of their running club). I told her, however, that it could never work due to the long distance (1400 miles) and the fact that I wasn’t ready. She simply replied, “You never know.”
Of course, my mother was right! Months went by and we corresponded by email and eventually by phone. For me it felt safe and easy. Then Thanksgiving arrived and he was due for a visit to his sister’s. He asked if we could get together that weekend and I agreed. We spent the day hiking, walking the beach and dining on Thai food. We ended our day at a local soap store where I commented to the owner that I was a “lavender chick”. When he took me home late that night, he presented me with a bar of lavender soap. I remember thinking: “Here’s a guy who pays attention!”
Looking back, it was then and there that my wildest prayers were beginning to be answered. Since then, we have managed to form a loving and everlasting bond that has stood the test of time,distance and many trials and tribulations. Additionally, we have spent time with each others children and have developed healthy relationships with them. I feel like his love for me has been heaven sent. After the trauma of an unhealthy marriage, I now realize and appreciate what it is like to be loved and respected as an individual.
This weekend we returned to the place where it all began. On a cold, snowy, late morning with Christmas in the air, he bought me a ring. My heart felt full as he placed it on my finger declaring- in his own quiet way- his love for me. For the first time in forever, I feel utterly content and blessed with God’s amazing grace. Elizabeth was right- your wildest prayers can come true!